17 July 2007

Book Review: The Blue Room by Georges Simenon

New Year’s Reading Resolutions #16

The Blue Room Tony Falcone’s latest affair has not turned out as he planned. Instead of continuing his regular visits to Triant, and to the blue bedroom in his brother’s hotel, he is in a jail cell. His visits are now made to lawyers and judges, who question him and slowly extract from him the details of his relationship with Andree Despierres. In this way the story progresses from the first chance meeting to the events which led to his arrest, until finally in the courtroom the truth is revealed with one last twist.

Why, oh why have I not discovered Georges Simenon before? This was a very clever novel, where the mystery was as much what happened? as whodunit?. Actually, more; for the identity of the murderer/s (no spoilers!) became clear without the need for any detective work. All that had to happen was for Tony to tell his story. It was nice to have the opportunity to read a crime novel from somewhere other than America or Britain, but I could have wished for it to be longer. At just 138 pages it was really only novella length, though the final twist made it feel more like a very long short story. Still, I’m glad I’ve expanded my reading a little more, and this is another author I’ll read more of.

Rating: B


Unknown said...

Haven't read the Blue Room yet but have read about 10 of his novels. Definitely get "The Engagement" next (available from Amazon). That one is pretty amazing!

Amat Libris said...

I'l look out for that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776